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Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC | 5 Deadliest Train Crashes in United States History - Ohio River 2nd St. and train bridge

In Kentucky, the railroad industry is one of the state’s most important and essential modes of transportation. Not only is it an efficient means of travel for people throughout the area, but it’s also an incredibly vital part of transporting products and goods. Most of the state’s extensive commercial rail system services the coal industry, with 2021 data from the Association of American Railroads finding that coal accounted 47% of the 22.6 million tons of product that was moved throughout Kentucky’s rail system.

5 Deadliest Train Crashes in United States

Over the years, the nation has seen several deadly train crashes that have left many people injured and claimed many lives. Looking at five of the deadliest train crashes that have occurred in the United States can provide a window into the dangers associated with train travel and how these incidents affected the community at large.

Malbone Street Wreck – November 1, 1918

The Malbone Street Wreck was a deadly train accident that occurred in Brooklyn, New York on November 1, 1918. The accident, also known as the Brighton Beach Line Accident, resulted in the deaths of between 93 and 102 people and injured more than 100 others, making it one of the deadliest train crashes in American history.

The wreck happened when a Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT) train derailed and crashed into a concrete wall in a tunnel on the Malbone Street line. The train was traveling at an excessive speed and the motorman, who was new to the route, was not familiar with the sharp turns and steep grades of the track.

Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck – July 9, 1918

The Dutchman’s Curve Train Wreck, also known as “The Great Train Wreck of 1918”, occurred on July 9, 1918, in Nashville, Tennessee. The accident resulted in over 100 fatalities and more than 170 injured.

A local train, known as the No. 4, was traveling on a single-track line and was approaching the Dutchman’s Curve, a sharp turn in the tracks. At the same time, a fast-moving express train, known as the No. 1, was heading in the opposite direction towards the same curve. Due to miscommunication and confusion among the railway employees, the local train was not given clearance to enter the curve, and the express train was not warned of the approaching local train. As a result, the two trains collided at full speed, causing a devastating crash that tore apart both trains and caused many deaths and injuries.

The cause of the accident was determined to be a human error, as the operator of the No. 4 express train failed to follow proper procedures and caused the train to collide with the oncoming No. 1 local train. The operator of the No. 1 local train attempted to avoid the collision by reversing his train, but the impact was too great, and both trains were completely destroyed.

Ashtabula, Ohio Train Wreck – December 29, 1876

Another one of the deadliest train crashes in United States history occurred in Ashtabula, Ohio on December 19, 1876. 92 people were killed and more than 159 were injured.

The accident occurred when an express train on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Company’s line was crossing a bridge over a river in Ashtabula, Ohio. The bridge, which was made of wood and iron, was poorly constructed and maintained. As the train crossed the bridge, it suddenly collapsed, sending the train plummeting into the river below.

The train’s cars were completely destroyed by the impact, and many of the passengers were trapped inside. The freezing cold temperatures and the lack of rescue equipment made it difficult for rescuers to reach the victims, and many of the passengers died of hypothermia or drowning.

The tragedy led to significant reforms in train safety regulations and bridge construction standards. The incident also highlighted the importance of investing in infrastructure, including the construction of more durable and secure bridges and the implementation of stronger safety measures on train lines.

Eden Train Wreck – August 7, 1904

The Eden Train Wreck was a tragic train accident that occurred on August 7, 1904, near Eden, Colorado. The accident resulted in one of the deadliest train disasters in the country’s history, with a total of 97 people killed and more than 100 injured.

This wreck occurred when a Missouri Pacific Flyer passenger train on the Colorado and Southern Railroad was traveling through a steep canyon near Eden, Colorado. The train was carrying more than 500 passengers, mostly families and children who were returning from a Sunday school picnic.

As the train was traveling through the canyon, a flash flood caused by heavy rains swept down the canyon and hit the train with tremendous force, causing it to derail and sending several of its cars tumbling down the steep embankment.

Wellington Avalanche Train Wreck – March 1, 1910

The Wellington Avalanche Train Wreck resulted in one of the deadliest train disasters in United States history, with a total of 96 people killed.

The accident occurred when two Great Northern Railway trains, a passenger train, and a mail train, were trapped in a snowstorm in the Cascade Mountains. The trains were stranded for several days due to heavy snowfall, and on the fourth day, an avalanche swept down the mountain and hit the trains with tremendous force, causing them to derail and sending several of their cars tumbling down the steep embankment.

The impact was so severe that the train’s cars were completely destroyed, and many of the passengers were trapped inside. The remote location of the accident made it difficult for rescuers to reach the victims, and many of the passengers died of their injuries.

Experienced and Compassionate Legal Representation in Kentucky

If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their lives in a train accident in Kentucky, you need experienced and compassionate legal representation.

At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC we have a team of skilled lawyers who years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases related to train accidents. We are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients and securing the compensation they deserve. We understand the challenges that come with recovering from a serious injury or dealing with the loss of a loved one, and we are here to provide the support and guidance you need during this difficult time.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about how we can help you seek the help you and your family need.